"Dandy" Don Meredith remembered in East Texas

By Taylor Hemness - bio | email

You can't go to a football game in Mt. Vernon without thinking of Don Meredith. After all, the stadium is named after the local legend.

And while his name hasn't always been on the sign, it has been in the minds of Mt. Vernon residents for more than half a century.

"Everybody that was in Mt. Vernon schools in the '50s, knew Don," long-time friend Tom Ramsay of Mt. Vernon said. "He was that kind of guy. He knew everybody, and everybody knew him."

Ramsay has known Meredith since he roamed those high school halls and said a friendship with Don was a special one.

"He was just a lovable, not a likable, he was a lovable guy, and he returned that love," Ramsay said.

In the Don Meredith Exhibit at the Franklin County Museum, you can see photos and memorabilia from "Dandy" Don's time with the Cowboys. Ramsay said his success came from something more important than his athletic ability.

"He was born with it," Ramsay said. "He had a natural ability to inspire people."

"Just saying, 'Let's go, let's go guys. Let's do this,' and they'd do it. They would try to do what he wanted to do."

Ramsay knows this exhibit may get a few more visitors in the coming days because of Don's death. But he hopes his friend will get an even bigger exhibit in the future.

"He was the kind of guy, I think, that shows what the NFL Hall of Fame is all about," Ramsay said. "And I hope someday they put him in the Hall of Fame."

And for Ramsay, Don Meredith will always be a hall of fame friend.

"He never expected, just because he was Don Meredith, more than what he was going to give you, which was friendship and love."

Memorial plans for Don Meredith are still pending.

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